StrikeForce 40: World Grand Prix Finals
Finally! The Grand Prix has come to it’s scheduled conclusion (read that whole last sentence in a Rock voice). Tonight, we get to see who wins the whole thing…minus AO, this is the best conclusion I could have envisioned. Too bad the whole thing fell apart so badly, it could have been the greatest HW Grand Prix in US history, we can only dream now.
In a few hours it happens, as usual my picks are in Green, Ranters! Leave you predictions in the comments section. Enjoy.
Main card (Showtime)
Heavyweight Grand Prix final bout: Josh Barnett vs. Daniel Cormier
Warmaster! Warmaster! Warmaster! What, you didn’t know? Daniel Cormier is an amazing talent. his wrestling pedigree is as good as they get, hell, it’s the best there is. He’s undefeated, after facing tough competition in Jeff Monson, and Anthonio Silva among others. He KO’d Bigfoot to advance against Barnett. Barnett is the end all be all Catch Wrestling master. Sure, he’s not he best, but I would think he’s gotta be near master level. With a 31-5 record, Barnett is the more experienced, his hands are heavy, his submissions are excellent and his catch wrestling is unorthodox. Cormier has excellent wrestling, great cardio and heavy hands. I couldn’t go wrong picking either fighter to win by KO, but I’m going with the Warmaster by sub. Josh Barnett by submission.
Lightweight Championship bout: Gilbert Melendez (c) vs. Josh Thomson
This one is the easiest pick of the night. It’s gonna be no surprise. Gilbert Melendez is the reigning champ of Strikeforce’s LW division, no one has come close to dethroning him. Josh Thomson is a former Strikeforce LW Champ. I don’t think his last performance warranted a title shot, sadly the division is sparse, and here we are. Thomson is always game, he’s got heart, a well rounded skillset and an inability to quit. Gilbert is a smashing machine who’s seen his skill level increase with each bout. As long as he takes Josh Thomson seriously, it’s gona be Gilbert ‘El Nino’ Melendez all day, all day. I’m going with Gilbert Melendez by decision.
Light Heavyweight bout: Rafael Cavalcante vs. Mike Kyle
This fight should be a #1 contenders fight for the vacant LHW title, but who knows. There should be a fight for the vacant WW belt too, but…Rafael Calvalcante is known for his KO power and athleticism, his use of the cage is a thing of beauty, he also KO’d King Mo once. Mike Kyle is a B E A S T who stepped up on short notice to fight Bigfoot Silva at HW and almost won my by KO, think about that one for a moment. I am expecting this fight to be a FOTN contender. I’m basically flipping a coin for this one. Feijao has speed, power and athleticism plus unorthodox cage savvy. Kyle has experience, power, heart for days, a solid chin and he’s currently pissed about his Strikeforce status. Coin flipped, Coin landed, I’m going with Rafael Calvalcante by Decision.
Welterweight bout: Nah-Shon Burrell vs. Chris Spang
I don’t know enough about either of these two fighters, so I’m gonna have to pay close attention during their fight. Chris Spang is gonna be my pick because the odds of 2 Spangs losing this weekend gotta be pretty high. Chris Spang by something.
Preliminary card (Showtime Extreme)
Lightweight bout: Gesias Cavalcante vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
Calvalcante is exciting, next to Bobby Green, JZ is my next favorite LW in Strikeforce. Watching him beat Bobby was a tough deal for me, I didn’t know who to root for. JZ has been inconsistent since Marchof 2008. Posint 2 wins, 3 losses and 2 no contests. Vallie-Flagg has been fighting mostly in New Mexico, he’s a Jackson’s product, so you know he has a gameplan ready for JZ, I think Vallie-Flagg is gonna take JZ to the 3rd round looking for a decision win. My brain says pick Vallie-Flagg, but the fan in me is gonna go with Calvalcante. Ugh. Calvalcante by Decision.
Light Heavyweight bout: Virgil Zwicker vs. Guto Inocente
Guto Inocente. Always bet on a Brazilian.
Light Heavyweight bout: Gian Villante vs. Derrick Mehmen
Gian Villante. I once had a friend named Gian, he was a freak.
Welterweight bout: Quinn Mulhern vs. Yuri Villefort
Yuri Villefort. Refer to the above Brazilian reference.
Lightweight bout: James Terry vs. Bobby Green
Bobby Green is one of my favorite lightweight fighters in MMA, he’s my favorite Strikeforce LW hands down. I love his style in the cage and think he could be a contender, for some reason he hasn’t pushed through to the next level. I’m hoping this fight showcases what he has to offer and gets him some recognition. James Terry has a wrestling pedigree and trains with Cung Le at his gym in San Jose, so you know he’s got some good striking, his experience may give him the edge in this one, but the youth and speed of Bobby Green are the bigger advantage in this fight in my mind. I’m going with Bobby ‘King’ Green by submission.
Rumble young man Rumble